SPIDERS (2)

The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings’ palaces. PROVERBS 30:28

AUGUST 18

When it’s time to lay eggs the spider produces a particular type of silk thread and spins it into a protective sac, then deposits them. When an enemy comes to steal the spider’s off-spring, it gets trapped on the sticky fluids that line the silk. Then the spider wraps the enemy in another kind of thread, and turns it into food. What’s the message of the spider? The battle is over your future! Don’t let the enemy have your children. Don’t let him rob you of your potential. Don’t let him steal your destiny.

When those with weak wills, weak knees and weak faith saw the giants in the Promised Land they wanted to go back to Egypt. But not Caleb. He said, “Neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us” (Nu 14:9). When you understand what the battle in your life is about, you actually begin

to feed off the stuff the enemy throws at you and say, “Bring it on, what does not destroy me will only make me stronger.”

Be like Sharnmah. “When the Philistines banded together at a place where there was a field full of lentils, Israel’s troops fled … But Shammah took his stand in the middle of the field. He defended it and struck the Philistines down, and the Lord brought about a great victory” (2Sa 23: 11-12 NIV). Shammah

knew what he was fighting for. That lentil patch put food on his table. It represented his family’s future. It was his legacy. And when Shammah stood up to the enemy, “The Lord brought about a great victory.” And He’ll do the same for you!

Taken from THE BEST OF THE WORD FOR YOU TODAY

 

In the winter of 1926, Thelma Goldstein from Chicago treated herself to her first real vacation in Florida.

Being unfamiliar with the area, she wandered into a restricted hotel in North Miami. “Excuse me,” she said to the manager. “My name is Mrs. Goldstein, and I’d like a small room for two weeks.”

“I’m awfully sorry,” he replied, “but all of our rooms are occupied.” Just as he said that, a man came down and checked out. “What luck,” said Mrs. Goldstein. “Now there’s a room.”

“Not so fast, Madam. I’m sorry, but this hotel is restricted. No Jews allowed.” “Jewish? Who’s Jewish? I happen to be Catholic.” “I find that hard to believe. Let me ask you, who was the Son of God?” “Jesus, Son of Mary.” “Where was he born?” “In a stable.” “And why was he born in a stable?”

​”Because a schmuck like you wouldn’t let a Jew rent a room in his hotel!”



SPIDERS(1)

The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings’ palaces. PROVERBS 30:28

AUGUST 17

Everything a spider needs to survive and succeed in life, God put within it. Swipe it with a broom and before it hits the ground, its fall is broken. It just reaches inside, releases another protein-filled silk-like thread, slides down, finds a safe place, then comes back stronger than ever and builds a new web. What’s the message of the spider? Everything you need, God has placed within you! The Bible says, “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness … he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature” (2Pe 1:3-4 NIV).

What has God given us? “Everything we need.” What has God made us participants in? “His divine nature.” Wow! Your future is not determined by who you know and who you don’t, who likes you and who doesn’t. The power to fulfill your destiny is within you! The warfare over your life and the struggle you’re in, is about what you were born, called and gifted to do. So, “Stir up … the … gift of God … that is in you” (2Ti 1:6 AMP). In other words=-start producing!

Life may have knocked you down, but it hasn’t knocked you out. What’s at work within you will triumph over what’s at work around you. Stand on God’s Word, draw on your faith, hold on, and when the smoke clears, rise up and announce, “By the grace of God, I’m back!” You say, “But I’ve lost so much.” As long as you still have what God put within you, you can make it!

Taken from THE BEST OF THE WORD FOR YOU TODAY

 

Stay calm!

“Keep your head in all situations” (2 Timothy 4:5, NIV).

A woman was sitting in her family room when a small black snake suddenly appeared, slithered across the floor, and made its way under the couch.

Being deathly afraid of snakes, she ran to the bathroom to get her husband, who was taking a shower. He came running from the shower with just a towel around his waist, grabbed an old broom handle from the closet, and began poking under the couch.

At this point the family dog awakened. Curious to see what was happening, the dog came up behind the husband and touched his cold nose to the back of the man’s heel. The man, thinking the snake had bitten him on the heel, fainted. The wife concluded that her husband had collapsed with a heart attack, so she ran from the house to a hospital just a block away. The ambulance drivers promptly came to her house and placed him on a stretcher. But as they were carrying him out, the snake reappeared from underneath the couch. One of the drivers got so frightened that he dropped his end of the stretcher and broke the man’s leg.

​Seeing her husband’s twisted leg, the wife collapsed on the spot. Meanwhile, the snake slithered quietly away! An old African proverb says, “There are forty kinds of lunacy, but only one kind of common sense.” Acting impulsively usually means things will get worse before they get better. So before you panic, calm yourself and ask God for wisdom and help, even in the simplest things.



ANTS

AUGUST 14

The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in summer. PROVERBS 30:25

 The message of the ant is “prepare yourself!” He prepares for winter while he is still in summer. That’s because: (1) His eyes are on the future. You can’t undo the past, but if you let it, it can undo you. The summer of your opportunities is passing quickly. Winter will come whether you’re ready or not. Remember Christ’s parable about the five foolish virgins who had no oil in their lamps and were excluded from the wedding? If you’re not ready when your time comes, you’ll miss out. (2) He

has the ability to delay gratification. If you don’t have the patience to wait, you’ll miss, or mess up, what God has in mind for you. The ant takes the resources he has in summer, and moves it towards his winter. Will somebody else show up and do this for him? No. Are there predators looking for a chance to

steal what he’s got? Yes. But he’s so focused on where he’s going, he doesn’t have time to worry about where he is. (3) He has a cause bigger than himself Ever watch an ant world He sinks his teeth into a piece of bread three times bigger than himself and drags it to where he’s trying to go, Are you saying,

“This is too big for me, I can’t carry it by myself?” You don’t have to. Read this: “Glory be to God who by his mighty power at work within us is able to do far more than we could ever dare to ask or even dream of” (Eph 3:20 TLB).

Taken from THE BEST OF THE WORD FOR YOU TODAY

 

Little Johnny and prayer

 

Little Johnny and his family were having Sunday dinner at his Grandmother’s house. Everyone was seated around the table as the food was being served. When Little Johnny received his plate, he started eating right away.

“Johnny! Please wait until we say our prayer,” said his mother.

“I don’t need to,” Johnny replied.

“Of course, you do,” his mother insisted. “We always say a prayer before eating at our house.”

“That’s at our house,” Johnny explained. “But this is Grandma’s house and she knows how to cook.”



LOOKING FORWARD TO V-DAY

AUGUST 13

Shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation. I PETER 1:5 NIV

In World War II, if you’d asked the brave souls in the French Resistance how they ever hoped to prevail against the forces of evil when they were ill-equipped and outnumbered, they’d have told you: “While we’re struggling on this side of the Channel, an invasion force is assembling on the other side. Nobody knows exactly when, but soon a signal will be given, a fleet of ships will come, we’ll join them and they’ll carry us on to victory.”

Every war has pivotal battles that shape the outcome, like Waterloo and Gettysburg. The Battle of Normandy determined the outcome of WorJd War II, but it didn’t immediately end it. In fact, things got worse before they got better. The battle was fought and won on D-day, but it wasn’t until V-day that the war officially ended and victory was declared. On earth we’re in a life-or-death fight against the forces of evil. We live waiting for the trumpet that heralds Christ’s return to lead us to victory.

Jesus said, “No one knows … that day or hour” (Mt 24:36 NN). In the meantime He tells us to “Occupy till I come” (Lk 19: 13). He also gives us, “A living hope through the resurrection .. .into an inheritance that can never perish .. .for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation … to be revealed in the last time” (IPe 1:3-5 NIV). Christ’s resurrection removes all our doubts about the final result. We won’t limp out battered and broken, we’ll march out triumphant, “a radiant church … holy and blameless” (Eph 5:27 NIV). So live your life in the light of God’s V-day!

Taken from THE BEST OF THE WORD FOR YOU TODAY

 

 

A barber gave a haircut to a priest one day. The priest tried to pay for the haircut, but the barber refused, saying, “you do God’s work.”

The next morning the barber found a dozen Bibles at the door to his shop.

A policeman came to the barber for a haircut, and again the barber refused to pay, saying, “you protect the public.” The next morning the barber found a dozen doughnuts at the door to his shop.

​A lawyer came to the barber for a haircut, and again the barber refused payment, saying, “you serve the justice system.” The next morning the barber found a dozen lawyers waiting for a free haircut.



TRY PRAYING ABOUT IT

AUGUST 12

In the night his song shall be with me. PSALM 42:8

Nothing fuels prayer like real need. In a crisis, even those who say they don’t believe in God, pray secretly. It’s an admission that there are certain things we can’t resolve. David said, “In the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.” Some prayers are midnight cries for

help, intended for God’s ears only; the fear is too deep and the feelings too private; we don’t want others around when those inner feelings surface. In prayer you “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (IPe 5:7 NIV), and because you know He will handle it for you.

A mother watched her Son run into the house clutching his bloody hand. “Let me see!” she said. Backing away he cried, “No, you’ll hurt me.” When he finally opened his hand, instead of a major injury she saw a tiny scrape that bled a lot. As she marveled at his theatrics, she realized she’d done the same to God. When her husband left her she was so hurt, she refused to pray. God kept saying, “Let me help you,” as she clenched her fists and said, “No, you’ll hurt me.” Once she realized this she gave it to God and her healing began. Catherine Marshall called this “the prayer of relinquishment,” which means giving the sit-

uation to God, taking your hands off it completely, refusing to discuss it any further, and trusting the One who makes “all things work together for good” (Ro 8:28). That’s why prayer makes it possible for you to stop struggling with the situation and have peace about it!

Taken from THE BEST OF THE WORD FOR YOU TODAY

 

A man went to the doctor for his yearly checkup.

As his doctor was examining his patient he commented on his pale complexion.

“I know” the patient said “It’s my high blood pressure, it’s in the family.”

“Your mom’s side, or dad’s side?” questioned the doctor.

“Neither, my wife’s.”

“What?” the doctor said “that can’t be, how can you get it from your wife’s family?”

“Oh yeah, I am telling you the truth!” Why don’t you come meet my wife’s family sometime!”​



TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR LIFE

AUGUST 11

Don’t let the world … squeeze you into its own mould. RIlMANS 12:2 PHP

Do you feel like you no longer control your own life? Like running you instead of you running it? That’s because you’re in the passenger’s seat, conforming to people, events and circumstances. They’re in the driver’s seat, not you. No wonder your frustration level is high and your contentment level is low. “Don’t let the world … squeeze you into its own mould.” If you’re feeling “squeezed,” you’ve two options.

(a) Remain a conformer, or become a transformer. Either choose to stay in the passenger seat, or get behind the wheel. The Bible says, “Do not be conformed to this world” (Ro 12:2 NKJV). Instead be transformed into the proactive, faith-driven person God meant you to be.

(b) Take charge of your life by “renewing your mind. ” Instead of struggling to change the people and circumstances around you, change how you think and what you tell yourself. The Greek word for renewing means “to align your thoughts with God’s.” Abandon those self-defeating thoughts that tell you “you’re not, you can’t, and you’ll never be able to.” God says: “You are, you can, and you certainly will be able to,” because of His indwelling power! john writes, “This is the victory that conquers the world-our faith” (lJn 5:4 NCV). Go to God’s Word! Discover what He says about the things that intimidate and control you, then pull the plug on them. The Word for you today is: “Don’t be afraid .. .1 am your God. I will make you strong .. .I will support you” (Is a 41: 10 NCV). Align your thoughts with God’s thoughts. Get into the driver’s seat and take charge of your life!

Taken from THE BEST OF THE WORD FOR YOU TODAY

 

Three construction workers are on the seventy-fifth floor of a non-finished building.

The Italian opens his lunch box to find a pizza and says “Man, if I get pizza one more time I am going to jump off this building and fall to my death!”

The Chinese opens his lunch box to find rice and says “Man, if I get rice one more time I am going to jump off this building and fall to my death!”

The blonde opens his lunch box to find a cheeseburger and says “Man, if I get a cheeseburger one more time I’m going to jump off this building and fall to my death!”

So the next day they all got the same thing and they jumped off the building to their death.

That weekend at the funeral, the Italian and the Chinese wives are crying and saying “I would have fixed him something else for lunch but he never told me.”

​And as the two wives stare at the blonde’s wife, they both ask why she isn’t sad about her husbands death, the blonde replies “Don’t look at me, he packs his own lunch.”



ONE DAY AT A TIME

August 10

Don’t get worked up about … tomorrow. MATTHEW 6:34 TM

Max Lucado says, “Worry is to joy, what a vacuum cleaner is to dirt; you might as well attach your heart to a happiness-sucker and flip the switch.” Jesus said, “Don’t get worked up about … tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” When it looks like things are falling apart, Paul reminds us, “Every detail in our lives .. .is worked into something good” (Ro 8:28 TM). When it seems like the world’s gone mad, don’t forget God “existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together” (CoI 1:17 NIT). When worry whispers, “God doesn’t know what you need,” remember God promised to “take care of everything you need” (Ph 4:19 TM).

Jesus taught us to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” You won’t get the wisdom or resources to handle tomorrow’s problems till you need them. When we “go confidently to the throne … [we’ll] find kindness, which will help us at the right time” (Beb 4:16 GWT).

Over a century ago Charles Spurgeon said: “Enough for today is all we can enjoy. We cannot eat, drink, or wear more than today’s supply of food and clothing. The surplus gives us the care of storing it and the anxiety that someone might steal it. One staff aids a traveler; a bunch of staves is a heavy burden. Enough is as good as a feast, and more than gluttony can enjoy. Enough is all we should expect, a craving for more is ungratefulness. When our Father doesn’t give you more, be content with your daily allowance.”

Taken from THE BEST OF THE WORD FOR YOU TODAY

 

A visitor to a certain college paused to admire the new Hemingway Hall that had been built on campus.

“It’s a pleasure to see a building named for Ernest Hemingway,” he said.

“Actually,” said his guide, “It’s named for Joshua Hemingway. No relation.

“The visitor was astonished. “Was Joshua Hemingway a writer, also?”

​”Yes, indeed,” said his guide. “He wrote a check.” …



SEEING JESUS IN THE UNDERDOG

August 7

You did it to Me. MATTHEW 25:40 NAS

A minister on Chestnut Street in Philadelphia noticed a homeless man coming towards him. He was filthy and his beard was caked with rotten food. He was holding a cup of coffee and the lip of the cup was dirty. Staggering up to him the hobo exclaimed, “Hey, mister. You want some of my coffee?” The

pastor really didn’t, but he thought it was the right thing to do, so he said, “Sure, I’ll take a sip.” When he handed the cup back he remarked, “You’re generous giving away your coffee.” Looking at him the derelict replied, “Well, it was particularly delicious today, and I think if God gives you something that

good you should share it!” The pastor continued: “I figured I was being set up and it would cost me five bucks. So I asked him, ‘Is there something I can do for you in return?’ The man answered, ‘Yeah, you

can give me a bug!’ (To tell the truth, I was hoping for the five dollar option!) He put his arms around me, and I suddenly realized he wasn’t going to let me go! People were passing by and staring at me. There I was, dressed in my establishment garb, hugging this filthy bum! I was embarrassed. Then little by

little my embarrassment changed to awe. I heard a voice echoing down the corridors of time saying, ‘I was hungry; did you feed Me? I was naked; did you clothe Me? I was sick; did you care for Me? I was the bum you met on Chestnut Street … did you hug me? For if you did … you did it to Me.”’

Taken from THE BEST OF THE WORD FOR YOU TODAY

 

A climber fell off a cliff, and, as he tumbled down, he caught hold of a small branch.

“Help! Is there anybody up there?” he shouted.

A majestic voice boomed through the gorge:

“I will help you, my son, but first you must have faith in Me.”

“Yes, yes, I trust you!” cried the man.

“Let go of the branch,” boomed the voice.

There was a long pause, and the man shouted up again, “Is there anybody else up there?”



IMPORTANT LEADERSHIP PRINCIPLES

August 6

I have chosen you.HAGGAI 2:23 NIV

Over the years leadership coach Angie Ward has enlisted of ministry volunteers. She says that most of the time she hears the same excuses; “I’m not a leader .. .I don’t know anything about teens .. .I’m not an extrovert” (or as Moses told God, “Send Aaron”), Instead of trying to convince them otherwise, Ward tells them they have only two major responsibilities:

(1) To love people. Face it, ministry would be easy if we didn’t have to deal with people. But people matter to God and they should matter to us! Like being part of a family and knowing what’s best for your own children, you need to spend time getting to know the people who depend on you and look

to you for direction. Consider their needs, not just your own, And look for ways to serve them instead of seeing them as distractions from your “real” work. Jesus spent most of His time with people, not offering pious platitudes, but loving and ministering to them. And He said, “Love each other as I . .loved

you” Jn 13:34 NCV), It’s always easier to ask people to do something, when you’re modeling the same kind of behavior in your own life.

(2) To try to think like a leader. One mega-church pastor says that before he makes any important decision, he asks himself what the other leaders he respects would do in the same situation. That’s wise! Asking somebody to be a leader can be intimidating and overwhelming, whereas, asking them to think

like one takes the pressure off, allows them to be less-than-perfect, and encourages them to grow into the job!

Taken from THE BEST OF THE WORD FOR YOU TODAY

 

 

 

Christian Football

Quarterback Sneak–Church members quietly leaving during the invitation.

Draw Play–What many children do with the bulletin during worship.

Half-time–The period between Sunday School and worship when many choose to leave.

Benchwarmer–Those who do not sing, pray, work, or apparently do anything but sit.

Backfield-in-Motion–Making a trip to the back (restroom or water fountain) during the service.

Staying in the Pocket–What happens to a lot of money that should be given to the Lord’s work.

Two-minute Warning–The point at which you realize the sermon is almost over and begin to gather up your children and belongings.

Instant Replay–The preacher loses his notes and falls back on last week’s illustrations.

Sudden Death-What happens to the attention span of the congregation if the preacher goes “overtime.”

Trap–You’re called on to pray and are asleep.

End Run–Getting out of church quick, without speaking to any guest or fellow member.

Flex Defense–The ability to allow absolutely nothing said during the sermon to affect your life.

Halfback Option–The decision of 50% of the congregation not to return for the evening service.

Blitz–The rush for the restaurants following the closing prayer.



KEEP YOUR EYES ON JESUS!

August 5

Consider him who endured such opposition … so that you will not .. .lose heart.

HEBREWS 12:3 NIV

Are you feeling misunderstood? You’re not alone! The most individual who ever lived was Jesus. Critics

joked about His birth, disputed His divine origin, scorned His purposes, reviled His teachings, were suspicious of His motives, critical of His methods, and angered by His message. Ultimately they put Him to death on a cross I That explains what the Apostle John meant when he wrote, “The Light shines in the

darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it .. .I-Ie came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him” (In 1:5-11 NAS). Wherever Be went, Jesus met with misunderstanding and ejection. Yet in spite of it, He endured. And by His grace you can too!

The Bible says: “Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” (Heb 12:1-3 NIV). So, as you run your race today: (a) Recognize the things that slow you down. (b) Recognize the things that trip you up. (c) Recognize that obstacles and opposition are par for the course, and don’t get discouraged. How do you do this? By keeping your

eyes on Jesus and drawing strength from Him each day.

Taken From the BEST OF THE WORD FOR YOU TODAY

 

A couple was vacationing in Honolulu for the first time. The husband turned to his wife and said, “Isn’t Hawaii beautiful, dear?”

“Yes, it is,” she replied, “but it’s pronounced ‘ha-VA-ii,’ not ‘ha-WA-ii.'”

“No,” he countered, “it’s ‘ha-WA-ii.'”

Unable to come to an agreement, they decided to ask one of the locals.

They approached a man who didn’t look at all like a tourist and the wife said, “Excuse us, sir — are you from around here?”

“Yes,” he replied.

The wife continued, “I wonder if you can settle something between my husband and me. I say that the name of your state is pronounced ‘ha-VA-ii’ and he insists it’s pronounced ‘ha-WA-ii.’ Which is it?”

“It’s ‘ha-VA-ii,'” the man replied.

“I guess that settles it, then,” the wife said smugly to her husband. Then, turning to the local man, she said, “Thank you!”

He replied, “You’re velcome.”




 

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